Battersea Arts Centre

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Battersea Arts Centre
1893 Vestry of St Mary
1900 Battersea Town Hall
Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, SW11 (3324322940).jpg
Address Lavender Hill
Wandsworth, London
Coordinates 51°27′53″N 0°09′39″W / 51.4648°N 0.1607°W / 51.4648; -0.1607
Owner BAC Trust
Designation Grade II* listed
Type Producing house
Capacity 500 Grand Hall
140 Lower Hall
Production The Masque of the Red Death
Opened 1980
Architect EW Mountford
Battersea Arts Centre
Battersea Beer Festival
William Calder Marshall - "Zephyr & Aurora"

The Battersea Arts Centre ("BAC") is a performance space near Clapham Junction in Battersea, in the London Borough of Wandsworth that specialises in theatre productions.


The theatre was founded in 1980 in a Grade II* listed building which originally opened in 1893 as Battersea Town Hall. The building was designed in 1891 by E. W. Mountford.[1] The space was converted to a community arts centre in 1974. BAC currently receives grants towards the building's operating costs from Arts Council England and the London Borough of Wandsworth, among others.

In 1901 a large pipe organ was installed in the Grand Hall. This was an unusual instrument designed by Robert Hope-Jones, a pioneering organ builder who invented many aspects of the modern pipe organ. His ideas went on to form the basis of the Wurlitzer theatre organ in the 1920s and 30s. The BAC pipe organ has been unusable for years, but was partially restored in 2013 for Little Bulb's production of Orpheus. Restoration work continues.

David Jubb has been the BAC's artistic director since 2004. In 2008 he was joined by David Micklem, with whom he shares the Joint Artistic Directorship of BAC. In October 2012 Micklem announced his decision to step down.[2]

BAC operates a "scratch" methodology as part of its "ladder of development" for new work. Performances are shown at various stages of development to an outside audience, whose input and criticism guides the further evolution of the work.

The old Town Hall was used as a location in the 1975 film Slade In Flame featuring rock band Slade. The Town Hall was the location for the 21st birthday party of the character played by Dave Hill.

On 8 and 9 October 2012, the pop band McFly used the location to film a video for their single "Love Is Easy".

Past productions[edit]

Companies and artists performing at BAC have included:

Battersea Beer Festival[edit]

Every February since 1991, the BAC hosts the three-day-long Battersea Beer Festival.[3]


  1. ^ English Heritage. "Battersea Arts Centre (1184293)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  2. ^ report of Micklem's departure.
  3. ^ "24th Battersea Beer Festival". Battersea Beer Festival. CAMRAswl. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 

External links[edit]